Russia hits back at British MP over ugly Emma Raducanu furore

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Russia has responded to concerns from Britain about Emma Raducanu's appointment of Dmitry Tursunov as coach. Pic: Getty
Russia has responded to concerns from Britain about Emma Raducanu's appointment of Dmitry Tursunov as coach. Pic: Getty

Russia has fired back a dismissive response to concerns in Britain about teenage tennis star Emma Raducanu's latest coaching move.

Britain's defending US Open champion Raducanu raised eyebrows last month after appointing Russian Dmitry Tursunov as her latest coach.

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Considering Wimbledon's controversial ban on Russian players, Raducanu's decision to appoint Tursunov has ruffled feathers back home, with British MP Chris Bryant claiming Russia could use it as a PR coup.

Bryant, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Russia, warned Raducanu about the potential effects the appointment could have.

“The Kremlin will portray this as a PR coup and an indication that the UK doesn’t really care about the war in Ukraine, so it’ll be a real shame if Emma goes ahead with this,” Bryant told the UK's Telegraph Sport.

“I urge her to think again and at the very least to condemn Putin’s barbaric war.”

The MP also called on the British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to "advise" Raducanu about the potential fallout from the Russian's appointment as coach.

Pictured left to right, British tennis star Emma Raducanu and Russian coach Dmitry Tursunov.
Emma Raducanu has appointed Russian Dmitry Tursunov to be her new coach ahead of the US Open. Pic: Getty

“It does jar to see a Russian coaching Britain’s number one rising star,” Bryant added.

“You would hope that the LTA would show some leadership on this and be able to advise Emma what is the best course of action."

Discussing the remarks on Russian state TV, one panelist ridiculed the British viewpoint and accused the MP of fostering 'Russophobia' around the world.

"Now, it turns out that if she (Raducanu) doesn't change her mind, at the very least, she will have to condemn publicly 'Putin's barbaric war', the panelist said.

"Now, she is preparing to go with him to a tournament somewhere, but that's it, they are harassing her and she'll have to get rid of him.

"Do you understand the extent of their paranoia and outright Russophobia in the West?."

Emma Raducanu turns to Russian as latest coach

Tursunov will become Raducanu's fourth coach in just 13 months, having recently mentored Estonian Anett Kontaveit, who he helped take into the world’s top 10.

Tursunov has reportedly been appointed on a trial basis but could lead the teenager into a hotly-anticipated US Open title defence if all goes well at the Citi Open.

The Russian mentor split with World No.2 Kontaveit before the grass-court swing after effectively being blocked from entering Britain.

It's understood any Russian or Belarusian coach taking part in Wimbledon or the other lead-up events in the UK had to denounce the invasion of Ukraine before being allowed to enter the country.

Raducanu shot to stardom in 2021 after becoming the first qualifier ever to win the US Open after a dream run.

Since becoming one of the biggest names in tennis, the 19-year-old Brit has been unable to settle on a long-term mentor to coach her.

Raducanu split with coach Torben Beltz in April, despite the pair spending just five months together.

She then went to Roland Garros without a coach after announcing that she was trying a "new training model" that involved support from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and meetings with consultants.

Raducanu replaced Nigel Sears with Andrew Richardson after her breakthrough run at Wimbledon in 2021, then decided not to renew the latter's contract despite the fact he guided her to a historic victory at the US Open as a qualifier.

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